John Michael McDonagh’s 'The Guard' to Open Edinburgh Film Fest (Cannes 2011)

The Irish comedy-thriller stars Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle.


CANNES -- John Michael McDonagh’s Irish comedy-thriller The Guard, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle will open this year's Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Other movies due to unspool include Philip Seymour Hoffman’s directorial debut Jack Goes Boating, Keith Bearden’s risque Kim Cattrall-starrer Meet Monica Velour and Steven Silver’s true life combat drama The Bang Bang Club, starring Ryan Phillipe.

All eyes will be on the festival which is living through turbulent times after last year saw the departure of artistic director Hannah McGill in the summer, months after former managing director Ginnie Atkinson stepped down in January 2010.

But organizers are confident this year's freshly imagined trimmer and leaner festival -- it has 60 titles unspooling this year compared to 110 last year -- will send out a message it is not standing still in its attempts to reinvent itself.

Centre for the Moving Image CEO Gavin Miller, whose organization oversees the event, told The Hollywood Reporter he thinks the festival will move forward despite being affected by "not inconsiderable budget cuts" amid the current climate of belt tightening.

The festival this year is introducing a host of fresh sidebars and collaborations such as Conflict Reportage, a section in partnership with the Frontline Club, a club for British independent journalists.

The event runs in the Scottish capital June 15 through 26.